Intended for healthcare professionals


BMA meeting: Doctors call for Royal Commission on copayments

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a765
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1Edinburgh

    Doctors at the BMA’s annual representatives’ meeting expressed their support for allowing patients to pay for treatments that the NHS does not provide without losing their right to further NHS care.

    However, they stopped short of recommending a swift introduction of the system of copayments to run alongside NHS provided care, calling first for a Royal Commission to review the implications and possible alternatives.

    The question of whether to permit copayments produced the most stormy debate and procedurally difficult motion of the meeting.

    Those speaking against allowing copayments saw giving permission to fund non-NHS treatments as a “slippery slope” towards privatisation and exploitation of the public by the drug industry. And both sides cited the founding principles of the NHS as a reason to allow and reject payments for extra treatments.

    The Department of Health in England has already asked Mike Richards, the cancer tsar, to review the …

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